LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State swimming and diving team held an end-of-the-year banquet on Sunday to celebrate a successful 2013-14 season, hand out its postseason awards and recognize the five seniors on the squad, Terrin Seaver, Tricia Kiss, Jaymee Porter and sisters Alessandra and Brianna Zuniga.
The Aggie squad had much to celebrate, especially after winning two gold medals at the WAC Championships and breaking four school records en route to a third-place finish at the conference meet, their best finish since 2010.
“Celebrating our successes is very important and we have much to be proud,” Aggie head coach Rick Pratt said. “To give thanks to all those that make our process possible is great as well and Sunday was a great time. We have a lot of exciting things around the corner and it is a great day to be an Aggie.”
NM State’s two WAC champions were Seaver, who won the 100 backstroke and junior Jessica Legge who defended her 100 breaststroke title. The Aggies also had three NCAA B-cut qualifiers in swimming and all three divers also qualified for the NCAA Zones. NM State also had a WAC Swimmer of the Week, Seaver, and a WAC Diver of the Week, sophomore Audrey Ruiz, during the season.
Sunday’s celebration was not only for the work in the pool, but outside the water as well. The squad finished with a combined-team GPA in the fall of 3.47, which was the 17th-highest GPA in the nation among Division-I teams. The team also logged in over 520 hours of community service in the Las Cruces area. Pratt also announced the signing of 11 incoming athletes for the 2014-15 season.
Two seniors picked up the top swimmer and diver awards as Seaver was named the year’s outstanding swimmer while Porter was honored as the outstanding diver.
Not only did Seaver win the WAC 100 back and earn swimmer of the week honors, she also placed second in the 100 butterfly and the 200 back, breaking the school record in all three events. She leaves NM State with three individual school records and is also part of three relay school records for a total of six records, the most for any swimming and diving member in the history of the school.
Porter, meanwhile, had career-best times in all three boards, the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform. Her second-place finish at the WAC Championships during the platform event is the best-ever finish by an Aggie in the event. Porter earned her second-place spot by breaking the NM State record in the event after a finals’ score of 233.75. She finished her career by earning her first trip to the NCAA Zone meet.
Other awards handed out on Sunday included the Linda Schroeder Academic Award, Captain Award, Lifter of the Year Award, Most Improved Award, Outstanding Newcomer Award and the Coach’s Award.
Below is a list of winners along with a short quote from Pratt:
Terrin Seaver, Tricia Kiss, Jaymee Porter, Alessandra Zuniga, Brianna Zuniga
2013-14 Captain Awards - Captain Terrin Seaver and Captain Kara Schweitzer
“Terrin and Kara were the team captains for the 2013-14 season. Both were great leaders both in and out of the pool and played an instrumental role in the success of our team.”
Linda Schroeder Academic Award – Jaymee Porter
“This is the second year in a row that Jaymee Porter has received this award. She is a senior, graduating in two weeks, majoring in communications. She has a 3.84 GPA and is an outstanding leader at the pool and in the classroom. Linda Schroeder was the first women’s swim coach here at NM State and this award is in honor of her for excellence in academics.”
Lifter of the year Award – Cassandra Rupp
“Strength and conditioning coach Tony McClure named Cassandra Rupp the swim and dive lifter of the year. There is never a day of training that goes by that Cassandra doesn’t lead the team with her enthusiasm and drive to become the strongest athlete she can!”
Most Improved Award – Moranda Madero
“Moranda not only improved her swimming this past season, going a best time in nearly everything she swam, but she also matured, became more passionate about the sport, gained confidence in her own abilities, and led our team by working hard and holding herself to the highest of standards.”
Outstanding Newcomer Award – Natalie French
“Natalie joined the Aggies this year and went a personal best in every race she swam during the season. She contributed at all of our dual meets in the distance and butterfly events, scored major points at our invite and at that WAC Championship and had a great attitude each and every day at practice.”
Coach’s Award – Dorottya Lennert
“Dory only knows how to work hard—a coach’s dream!! She comes to the pool every day ready to get the most out of each training session. In the pool, in the weight room, in the classroom… there is nobody tougher! Dory is a fierce competitor and does not want to settle for anything less than being the best. That attitude is inspiring for all of her teammates and her coaches.”
Outstanding Diver – Jaymee Porter
“Jaymee had personal bests on all three boards this season. She scored 35 points for the Aggies at the WAC Championship and came in second place on platform, which is the highest place that an Aggie diver has ever held in program history. Jaymee broke the school record by over 20 points on platform and ended her career here by qualifying for the NCAA Zone meet.”
Outstanding Swimmer - Terrin Seaver
“Terrin was WAC Swimmer of the week this season from December 2-8th, 2013. She was WAC Champion individually in the 100 back, second in the 200 back and second in the 100 butterfly. She also contributed to the NM State relays: 200 medley relay (3rd), 800 free relay (4th), 400 medley relay (3rd) and 400 free relay (4th). Terrin’s times in her 100 back, 200 back and 100 fly were all NCAA B-cuts and she broke the school record in all three of her individual events. Terrin was also named NM State’s 2014 National Strength and Conditioning All-American Athlete of the Year.”